man holding white board

The aim of The Change Gym is to change how organisations approach change. Arguably, the current dominant approach reflects Kotter’s 8-step change model. Whilst we acknowledge the contribution that Kotter has made to knowledge and the importance of what is in this model, it is what the model lacks that is, at very least, of equal importance.

The dominant approach is essentially a management model – create a state of urgency, put together the right team, create and communicate the vision, deal with obstacles, create short-term wins, build on the change, and embed it in the culture.

This model presents a clear, and necessary, process, but it omits 3 critical elements that, in our view, a comprehensive approach to organisational change should include.

First, the dominant approach ignores the capacity of stakeholders to succeed at the change process. After all, these are the ones with most influence over outcomes, and the nature of their engagement determines success and efficiency. A comprehensive model of organisational change must include the combined change fitness quotient of the stakeholders. Furthermore, the change fitness strengths of stakeholders should be assessed and this assessment should be taken into account as tasks are allocated.

Second, the dominant approach ignores the change leadership capacity of the leaders/managers. They must be endowed with change fitness strengths to lead effectively. Also, they must understand how to create change readiness within the organisation.

Third, the dominant approach ignores the effect that pre-existing non-human organisational realities have on the capacity of stakeholders to enact and build their change fitness in pursuit of successful outcomes. Kotter refers to organisational culture in his final point but ignores the influence culture and other realities play over the entire process.

We embrace Kotter’s 8 points but see them as reductionistic and inadequate. We at The Change Gym offer a much more comprehensive approach to organisational change. Reach out to us to learn more.

Steve Barlow
Author: Steve Barlow

Steve heads up The Change Gym. He is a change readiness specialist. You can contact him at